Need to automount a user under a different home directory than in NIS

Posted on 2010-11-22
Last Modified: 2013-12-24
I have a user on NIS that has a home directory that is slightly different than what he has as his directory on the server. He needs to have the user log in to the different directory however and I have heard you can do this with automount but I am not sure how this works... ?
Question by:Thaidog
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 34193574
I don't think I understand your problem correctly.

What is his home directory set to and what does the user want?  Please be specific.

There are multiple ways.

Change user's home directory:
usermod -d /home/new/dir -m USERID

Just create a symbolic link:

So suppose the current home directory is: /home/user1
And NIS wants point to: /home/user1A, which doesn't exist then


ln -s /home/user1 /home/user1A


Author Comment

ID: 34198876
His home directory as t is in NIs is:

[root@qweb077 ~]# ypcat passwd | grep euaj911
euaj911:***:Contractor Position:/ap/d/bwpsj:/bin/bash
[root@qweb077 ~]#

His home directoy on the server is:
[root@qweb077 ~]# finger euaj911
Login: euah914                          Name: Contractor Position
Directory: /ap/q/bwpsj                    Shell: /bin/bash
Last login Mon Nov 22 14:16 (EST) on pts/1 from
No mail.
No Plan.

I was hoping o get his done via automount if possible.
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

farzanj earned 500 total points
ID: 34200139
So I presume your mount point is:

And your remote directory is:

Remote mount.  Suppose the remote directory is at
You should have the following mount point in your local computer.
And nothing inside it.

Now create automout as follows:
Edit /etc/auto.master file and append the following line at the end.
/ap/d    /etc/auto.misc  --timeout=60

Open in new window

Now edit /etc/auto.misc and append the following to the end of the file.
bwpjs    -rw,soft,intr

Open in new window

Now restart the service as  
service autofs restart

Open in new window

Now do:
ls /ap/q/bwpsj

Open in new window

It this works, try the following line in /etc/auto.misc file
*        -rw,soft,intr

Open in new window

Let me know if anything doesn't work
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Author Comment

ID: 34200316
This is along the lines of what I am looking for however the directory is actually local so I do not need to remote mount anything... just drop them in to the correct directory already mounted.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 34202302
Is the user's home on a separate partition?  I am not understanding why you want to mount when the home is not even remote.  Well, you can do it if at least it is a separate partition.  Then you will delete the IP address--all part before colon and leave out colon and onwards.

Author Comment

ID: 34202866
It is a separate partition. It was suggested to me that this was the proper way or at least the method this infrastructure handles this situation... maybe I am mistaken. In any event we will try it out...
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 34204857
If it is separate partition, it certainly makes sense because you would either mount it or automount it.  Normally people go with plane old mount but automount is certainly an option.  If it was remote, automount saves network resources by using it only when needed and then disconnecting it.

So do you need any more help with automount?  What OS are you using?  When you go to auto.master and auto.misc, you see sample syntax commented out.  But certainly if you need further help, please ask.  If you remove ONLY IP address above, the above syntax should work, if I made correct assumptions above.  If not, tell me what the mount point is supposed to be and where it has to be mounted, name of device (partition), etc.

Author Comment

ID: 34207396
The OS is CentOS 5.5. The thing is though is that it's an LVM mount that is mounted in fstab already. I am new to the environment but I do know that some of the boxes use a NAS with the NIS to mount home directories. Not sure if the person helping me was thinking this was the situation but it is clearly not with this box. Does it make sense to just use automount as an alias to switch the mount point for the home directory without actually mounting anything remotely?
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 34207852
Well, it does.  If you want to remove your mount and use automount, it is your choice.  You can quickly comment out its entry in /etc/fstab, and unmount it
umount /dev/NAME
And then try mounting using automount.  I would say automount may be used in most cases when mount is used.  If you want to keep the mount, then simply create a symlink.

Author Comment

ID: 34208085
Can't do that though the problem is that directory is where an application actually is and other users have to be able to access it also... to add to the mess they all use other "application proxy users" to execute the commands... not sure why all this is necessary.  It looks like the application team has actually changed the the directory path to the same as the other boxes so it does not look like we will have to do this no. Your information on autmount is helpful none the less and I will award you the points. Thanks.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 34208274
In your situation, should be a quick and easy fix.

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